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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) is calling for action to end golden parachutes for New Jersey University Employees


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

New Brunswick NJ, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) called for legislative action on his bill to end golden parachute payouts following news that Rutgers University is granting a $480,000 payout to the hastily departing New Brunswick campus Chancellor for a one-year sabbatical.

“The state’s largest public research university is forking over nearly half-a-million dollars to pay for an early departing administrator’s one-year vacation,” Pennacchio said. “This handout is a gross misuse by Rutgers of the tuition they receive from students and the tax dollars they receive from the State. Every dollar Rutgers wastes on these payouts is a dollar not spent on teaching and research. With tuition and student debt on the rise, I am calling for the State Legislature to take action to end this fiscally-irresponsible practice.”

Continue reading Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) is calling for action to end golden parachutes for New Jersey University Employees
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Hacker Who Launched Attacks On Rutgers University Ordered To Pay $8.6m Restitution


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

TRENTON NJ,  A Union County, New Jersey, man was ordered today to pay $8.6 million in restitution and serve six months of home incarceration for launching a cyber-attack on the Rutgers University computer network, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Paras Jha, 22, of Fanwood, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp to violating the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. Judge Shipp imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

Continue reading Hacker Who Launched Attacks On Rutgers University Ordered To Pay $8.6m Restitution

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Ridgewood High School Senior Kathryn Zhou and Her Team Wins Best Paper Award at MIT Technology Conference

photo courtesy of RHS

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood High School Senior Kathryn Zhou and her team participated in the 2018 New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering & Technology (GSET) at Rutgers University and won the Best Paper Award at the 2018 IEEE MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference (URTC). Way to go Kathryn!

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Rutgers Blasted for Forcing Students & Taxpayers to Pay for Golden Parachutes


August 7,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog


New Brunswick NJ, Senator Joe Pennacchio blasted Rutgers University for forcing students and New Jersey taxpayers to pick up the tab for more than $11.5 million in settlements, buyouts and golden parachutes for elite employees at the State-funded university. The discovery of the payouts was reported by on August 3, 2018.

“The cost of higher education is skyrocketing in New Jersey and it’s no secret why. It is unconscionable that a State-funded university would have the gall to raise tuition, and then turn right back around and give away millions of dollars to elite employees. These golden parachutes are an outrageous misuse of funds. Rutgers owes students and taxpayers an explanation. After all, they pay their salary,” Senator Pennacchio (R-26) said.
“Our goal is to ensure that students who go to high school in New Jersey, can continue their education at a great in-State college, get great career training, and continue to live and work in the state they call home. How can we expect them to do that if our flagship university refuses to do anything to make higher education more affordable?

“Talk to any college student on campus – they do not want their tuition dollars spent on multi-million dollar payouts to coaches and administrators who make enough money as it is. This fiscally-irresponsible practice must come to an end.”

Senator Pennacchio has been one of the strongest advocates in the Legislature for ensuring tuition and taxpayer dollars are handled responsibly at Rutgers University. In 2013, Senator Pennacchio introduced a budget resolution to dock Rutgers University approximately $2.1 million in state aid in the state’s FY14 budget, and require school officials to provide a report demonstrating how they funded these giveaways out of administrative coffers and not by raising tuition or using state aid. The resolution was introduced in response to reports that Rutgers gave a $475,000 payout to basketball coach Mike Rice; a coach who had repeatedly physically abused and shouted gay slurs at players during practice.

Senator Pennacchio added that he is considering legislative solutions to put a stop to non-contractually obligated and egregious payouts, and curtail the amount of funding Rutgers University receives should the practice continue.
Rutgers University receives more than $400 million in State funding each year.

“The $11.5 million in payouts would cover the cost of tuition and fees for about 800 Rutgers students,” Senator Pennacchio added. “In fact, the payout recently-departed Chancellor Dutta received would pay for about 32 students. Chancellor Dutta spent one year in his current role, and now he’s getting paid half a million dollars to walk away from the job. That’s insane. Tuition dollars should be spent on students, not boat checks for administrators.
“It is completely unfair and unjust to ask taxpayers and students to continue to subsidize this kind of reckless spending. We will continue to work hard to hold Rutgers University accountable for how they handle State resources.”

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FBI questions Rutgers student about massive cyber attack


By Adam Clark and Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for
on January 20, 2017 at 4:47 PM, updated January 20, 2017 at 9:12 PM

NEW BRUNSWICK — The FBI has interviewed a Rutgers University computer science student who has been identified by a well-known cyber security blogger as the likely author of the malicious code that caused a massive Internet disruption in October. The expert said the student also may be linked to repeated attacks on Rutgers’ computer system starting in late 2014.

While he says he does not know who may have actually launched the massive “denial of service” or DDoS attacks last fall, the security researcher said the coding language used and other anecdotal evidence seemed to point to the 20-year-old-student, Paras Jha, as an author of the malware used to shut down hundreds of computer servers.

The student’s father, Anand Jha, confirmed that federal investigators have questioned his son, but he adamantly denied he had any knowledge of the attacks or was involved in any way.

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Roommate Dharun Ravi pleads guilty to charge in Rutgers webcam case


NEW BRUNSWICK — A former Rutgers University student whose roommate killed himself after being captured on a webcam kissing another man has pleaded guilty to attempted invasion of privacy.

Thursday’s plea from Dharun Ravi, 24, a former Plainsboro resident, comes after an appeals court last month threw out a 15-count conviction against him in a case that stemmed from the 2010 death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi.

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Amid growing recognition that some students are going hungry, Rutgers-New Brunswick is the latest university in New Jersey to open a food pantry

Ramen noodles. Priced around 13 cents a bag, they’ve been a staple of college life for decades, helping the archetypal “starving student” afford tuition, housing, books, and the occasional beer. But the typical shrug in reaction to this paradigm is giving way to real concern as institutions of higher learning realize that hunger on campus is a serious problem that’s hurting students’ ability to learn.

This summer, Rutgers University-New Brunswick became the latest of at least five New Jersey colleges and universities — and more than 300 nationally — to install a free food pantry on campus. So far, about 30 students have taken advantage of Rutgers’ non-perishable goods. But the need is far greater.

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Brianna Alexandra Patek of Ridgewood High School will present a research project at the 2016 Research Symposium of the New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering & Technology at Rutgers University

Health-Monitoring Wearables
July 21,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Brianna Alexandra Patek, of Ridgewood High School will present  a research project Friday at the 2016 Research Symposium of the New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering & Technology at Rutgers University’s Busch campus in Piscataway. Patek will be joining 80 of her peers in presenting the results of their respective research projects.

11:20 AM – 11:40 AM Health-Monitoring Wearables Amy Liang, Brianna Patek, Sruthi Srinivasan, Eileen Wang, Andrew Zheng

The introduction of the final symposium from 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM in the Allison Road Classroom Building Room 103 on Rutgers’ Busch Campus (directions at the end of this invitation). (Visitors on the day of the symposium may park in Lots 51, 59, 60B, and 67 without permits.

Links to the parking lots are at the bottom of this document). Light refreshments will be served.  Students’ research presentations will run from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM concurrently in three locations: the Computing Research and Education (CoRE) Building Auditorium, located on the first floor of the CoRE Building; the Easton Hub Auditorium, located in the Fiber Optic Materials Research Building; and the CAIT Auditorium, located in the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation Building.

The schedule of presentations from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM there will be a one hour break for individuals to examine the final project results in the Life Sciences Building Atrium

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American killed in Mali grew up in North Jersey, worked to improve global health


courtesy of Facebook Anita Datar

NOVEMBER 21, 2015, 9:01 AM    LAST UPDATED: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2015, 11:51 PM

A 41-year-old former Peace Corps volunteer and global-health specialist is the latest person with roots in North Jersey to become a victim of global terror.

Anita Ashok Datar, a graduate of Mount Olive High School and Rutgers University, was one of at least 19 people killed in Friday’s terror attack on a hotel in Mali, the State Department confirmed in a statement.

No other U.S. citizens were believed to have died in the attack, carried out by heavily armed Islamic extremists at a Radisson hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako.

Related:   New blow to France; 20 killed in attack on hotel in Mali, a former colony

Datar, a resident of Takoma Park, Md., was the mother of a 7-year-old boy. She devoted her life to caring for and helping others, her family said.

“We are devastated that Anita is gone,” her family said in a statement issued through the State Department. “It’s unbelievable to us that she has been killed in this senseless act of violence and terrorism.”

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Analysis: Weaker oversight gives N.J. public colleges greater power to chart their agendas


JULY 19, 2015    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2015, 12:35 AM

Kean University is launching an expensive architecture program, largely tailored to foreign students, at its Union campus despite another public one just 6 miles away at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

The technology institute, virtually across the street from Rutgers Medical School in Newark, is considering partnering with Rowan University, just south of Philadelphia, to train doctors.

A new public business school is opening in Jersey City even as others in nearby Newark and Montclair are spending millions to beef up their programs.

If it seems like there’s no statewide plan for higher education in New Jersey, it’s because there isn’t, and recent decisions by the schools have raised questions about whether weak state oversight has allowed for expensive and duplicative projects that have helped make the state home to some of the highest public tuitions in the nation.

The politically appointed boards that run the state-subsidized colleges and universities have a degree of autonomy unheard of in most other states. And with no resistance from state officials, the boards have approved costly and controversial projects.

Stockton University bought an $18 million former casino it is now unable to use; Montclair State University agreed to spend $250,000 on a statue of its mascot and Kean purchased a multimedia conference table from China for $219,000, prompting a state investigation.